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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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There's another Utahn on the upcoming season of 'Survivor'

For the second "Survivor" season in a row, Utah will be represented. Although, unlike "South Pacific," when there were two, there will be just one Utahn on the upcoming "Survivor: One World."

Jonas Otsuji, a 37-year-old sushi chef who was born and raised in Hawaii and now lives in Lehi, will try to outwit, outplay and outlast on his way to a million bucks.

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I've never met him, but I think I like him. He certainly seems to have the right attitude about "Survivor." Which is, after all a game.

"As far as lying and manipulating and backstabbing, I have no problem doing that," Otsuji says in his CBS introduction video. "I feel like if you're playing the game, you've had, what, 23 seasons to figure out what people do. If you're not aware that people backstab and lie and all that, then that's your problem."


The reason this season is titled "Survivor: One World" is that both tribes will be sharing the same camp on the same beach. It's men vs. women when it comes to challenges, but they live together.

According to host/producer Jeff Probst, there are "plenty of villains" this season. Whether Otsuji turns out to be one of them remains to be seen.

"I'd like to be considered strategic," he said. "I don't have any aspirations to be a villain or anything like that, but if that's the way I'm portrayed then, oh, well."


Otsuji is also hoping to sneak up on a few people. And he might just turn out to be one of those contestants who can provide food for the others.

"I think being a sushi chef, it's not real threatening," he said. "Like if I said I'm like an Olympic triathlete or whatever, that might be intimidating.

"But what they don't know is I'm very athletic. I grew up in Hawaii so I surf a lot. I dive. I fish. I've had experience living off the land."

"Survivor: One World" premieres on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. on CBS/Ch. 2.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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